Guest post by ITWorx, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners.

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In a rapidly changing knowledge society, besieged with a continuous onset of new technologies, students need to develop a wide range of competencies that give them the skills to manage change throughout their lives. Traditional competencies like languages, math and science, and basic digital skills, will continue to be important, but competences that enforce lifelong learning, or “learning to learn” skills, will become more valuable and indeed a necessity to sustain a globally competitive economy. These key competencies include creativity, the ability to think laterally, adaptability, a willingness to take initiatives, and entrepreneurship.

The seeds for lifelong learning are propagated in the first stages of education and nurtured throughout life through training. With this in mind, traditional forms of formal and informal learning must be reconsidered and new systems developed that enable students, both young and older, to become part of a new digital era. This modern learning environment extends to everything from content and curricula, assessment, learning and teaching practices, organization, values and leadership, collaboration and communication, and infrastructure. It provides the opportunity for learners to develop real-world 21st Century skills.

Essential to this new environment is the seamless integration of mobile devices into the educational system and pedagogy. Mobile devices have become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives and indeed can no longer be excluded from mainstream education and training. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used to enhance student engagement. They provide a new way to create and consume educational materials and services and a means to deliver personalised learning. Mobile devices of course deliver anytime anywhere learning opportunities, introducing a new paradigm in learning.

 

AuthorKit Reader, part of the AuthorKit suite, delivers an engaging and intriguing experience by allowing learners to preview, navigate and interact with e-lessons.

 

We have been working alongside Microsoft to deliver state-of-the-art tools to teachers and schools to allow them to build a dynamic social learning environment that opens a space for creativity and collaboration, and that ultimately enhances learning outcomes. The launch of Windows 8 is a new milestone in these efforts to bring students, teachers, parents, and administrators together to change traditional pedagogical practices in a sustainable manner.

Our touch handwriting tool is a Windows 8 app that teaches children aged 3 to 5 how to write by tracing letters, numbers and shapes with their finger or by using a stylus. We will also reveal a new Windows 8-based studying suite this year at BETT. It includes a teacher authoring tool for creating interactive digital content, an offline desktop e-reader for students, and a student mobile app that seamlessly integrates with our social learning platform, CLG.

Based on Microsoft technologies, CLG combines social networking with easy-to-use tools for teaching, learning, management and administration. It provides a dynamic educational space enriched with collaboration, personalisation, interactivity, real-time feedback and assessment, and mobile learning.

StudyLIVE combines learners’ most needed functionalities into a single app, making the management of day-to-day learning easy.

 

Our new learning analytics tool is a must-have for school and district managers. It brings together disperse and large volumes of PK-12 learning data (linking assignments and exams, online social interactions, extracurricular activities, etc.) into a single view. It provides the ability to interact with this data to make timely, informed decisions, identify the root cause of discrepancies, and understand performance trends. School administrators and policy makers can access real-time information from mobile devices and easily produce informative reports.

Drop by our booth (F260) to give these new products a spin. Learn more about how to transform your school and class into an innovative, creative and collaborative learning environment, and what steps you can take to engage students, teachers, parents, and school administrators in the process.